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I Want to Learn Too Much
2014-09-05 21:00:47 -0400
elixir ruby javascript d3.js node.js sinatra rails perl moose dancer erlang otp

How do you decide what to learn next?

I'm too easily distracted. There are too many options out there.

Things I want to learn tomorrow:

  • Elixir
  • Erlang/OTP
  • Phoenix for Elixir
  • Perl Moose
  • Perl Dancer
  • Ruby on Rails/Sinatra
  • Bootstrap
  • Node.js
  • D3.js

I don't know where to start.

I mean, I'm pretty good with the basic essentials of Elixir. I can code up a data structure and can work some logic with it. I still have some blind spots in there, specifically with the metaprogramming side of it and constructing OTP applications. I have an unfinished card game I should get back to. And I should probably learn Phoenix because, let's face it, it's the most likely avenue towards finding real world work in the language right now. Or maybe I should learn RabbitMQ? Crap, let me add that to the list, too.

Bootstrap I'm learning as I go. I'm using it at work as I update some websites, and that's just a matter of picking and choosing elements off the menu as I need them. I'm not too worried about that. Bootstrap is super easy to use and learn.

Two different JavaScript frameworks? Yeah, that's just nutty, but I need to force myself to learn more JavaScript somehow. It's useful for the career, you know? I think D3 looks more up my alley, combining some technical skills with some creative ones. Plus, there are immediate ways I can put it to work, which always makes learning something attractive, not to mention easier. (This tutorial looks helpful.)

Node.js just seems so popular that I'm curious about it. Of course, every time I start looking at a tutorial on it, my eyes rolls back into my head as they describe how the system works and what goes into it all. And, still, JavaScript.

I have two Perl things up there because, well, I'm still a Perl programmer. Need to learn new things there, too, since nobody else would take me as anything more than a junior developer. I'm overdue to learn Moose. I learned a lot of OO stuff from studying Ruby and Objective-C in recent years. Now I want to apply that to Perl. As a bonus, I might be able to get that working at the day job.

Then I need to learn a web framework. I've spent too much time over the years hand-coding cgi scripts to make web pages. Using the Perl equivalent of Sinatra is attractive. I've done some initial tests with Dancer and stood up a couple of working prototypes for things, so I feel good about it. It's just a matter now of getting more serious with it.

And Ruby on Rails or Sinatra? I've been wanting to buckle down and learn those for seven or eight years now. But Rails has gotten ridiculously complicated in that time. Maybe I should start with Sinatra and work my way into Rails? (And, it goes without saying, brush up on Ruby, itself, along the way.)

That's my scorecard. I believe the phrase 'running on ice' was coined for this particular reason. I feel like I'm running very fast and getting nowhere quickly. If I could just commit to something, it might help.

Having written that all out, I can shrink the list down a bit:

  • Sinatra
  • Perl Dancer
  • Perl Moose
  • D3.js
  • Elixir/Phoenix

I dropped Bootstrap off the list because it's not a concern. I can become more familiar with it as I go and as I need it. No need to waste time making projects up for myself to learn it. Node.js is just too much at once. Ditto for Rails.

I still don't know where to begin.

This blog is either (a) good therapy or (b) not helping me very much with the whole "thinking things through on-line" thing.

Yup, running on ice.

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